MELVILLE, NY--(Marketwired - January 13, 2014) - From the operating room at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, NY, North American Partners in Anesthesia (NAPA) pediatric anesthesiologist Sanjoy Joshi's clinical skills enabled him to help make a U.S. soldier's humanitarian mission a reality. On November 14, 2013, Dr. Joshi was part of the medical team that enabled Bilal Sharif to have life-changing surgery not available in his home country.
Afghanistan has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. The 7-year-old was born in a refugee camp with part of his bladder on the outside of his body and no access to medical care. The organ sat below his navel, an open abdominal wound that left him prone to infection, constantly wet and in pain. More than two years ago, Bilal's story reached Army Reservist Maj. Glenn Battschinger, a member of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command based in Staten Island. In January 2013, Battschinger traveled to Afghanistan to try to get Bilal, the fifth of nine children, a visa to the United States. It took Bilal and his father six dangerous trips to Kabul before he was given a humanitarian parole visa that fall.
"Bilal's story touched us all," said Dr. Joshi. "No one ever wants to see a child in pain. Being able to help Bilal with the proper medical treatment is a blessing. I am truly glad that I could contribute to this life-changing surgery."
Dr. Joshi, a sixteen-year veteran with North Shore LIJ's Pediatric Anesthesia Department, faced challenges and complexities with the case, as Bilal was anemic pre-surgery as a result of malnutrition. Bilal had to be kept paralyzed to ensure surgical relaxation while pediatric urologists Dr. Moneer Hanna and his team spent several hours reconstructing the bladder. The anesthetic management was challenging, recalled Joshi, and "required administering one unit of blood and replacing third space and insensible fluid losses with a balanced salt solution." Dr. Joshi had to routinely check the boy's electrolytes and insure good intravenous access. Bilal was on a fentanyl drip and remained with this protocol post-op for pain control. To create an optimal environment for the surgical sutures to heal, Dr. Joshi intubated Bilal for twenty-four hours.
After almost six hours in the OR, the surgery was declared successful, fully restoring Bilal's bladder and organs. As he will be facing another operation in the near future, Bilal will remain in the United States with his host family. During his stay in the United States, Bilal looks forward to dedicating his time to learning as much as he can in school in hopes of teaching his entire Afghan family how to read and write when he returns home.
About North American Partners in Anesthesia
Founded in 1986, North American Partners in Anesthesia (NAPA) is the leading single specialty anesthesia management company in the United States. NAPA is comprised of the most respected clinical staff, providing thousands of patients with superior and attentive care. The company is known for partnering with hospitals and other health care facilities across the nation to provide anesthesia services and perioperative leadership that maximize operating room performance, enhance revenue, and demonstrate consistent patient and surgeon satisfaction ratings. For more information, please visit www.NAPAanesthesia.com.
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